--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Teflon Returns to the Spotlight

Teflon-coated cookware poses no risk to health or the environment, the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine said in a report issued on Wednesday.

A sampling of 28 different Teflon-coated pans from 18 manufacturers showed no traces of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a potentially toxic chemical used to produce Teflon and coatings used in automobiles. The samples tested represent about 90 percent of all the Teflon pans sold on the market, according to the newly established academy.

The results were reviewed by an independent panel of experts organized by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, including academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The panel unanimously agreed that the results are reliable.

"Gloria" Xu Yang, public affairs manager of DuPont China Holding Co. Ltd., said that DuPont was satisfied with the results of the tests.

In early July, Chinese users of non-stick cookware grew uneasy when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would take administrative action against Delaware-based DuPont for multiple failures to report information about substantial risk of injury to human health or the environment from PFOA over a 20-year period.

The US EPA action refers to risks posed by PFOA in the production process, not to finished products. The agency has indicated that PFOA does appear not to exist in significant amounts in finished cookware coatings.

Tests conducted by DuPont and independent laboratories have shown that significant decomposition of the nonstick coating and release of potentially harmful fumes occur only at temperatures above 340 degrees C, significantly higher than normal cooking temperatures.

However, the US Environmental Working Group has found in other studies that on conventional electric cooking ranges, Teflon-coated pans quickly reached temperatures exceeding 360 degrees C. At this temperature, the organization reports, the coating releases at least six toxic gases.

Avian veterinarians have linked fumes from nonstick cookware to a phenomenon known as "Teflon toxicosis." As early as 1986, a US specialist referred to the syndrome as a "leading cause of death among birds."

Meanwhile, the US EPA is continuing its investigation into the effects of PFOA. Its revised risk assessment is scheduled to be released this autumn for public peer review by the agency's Science Advisory Board.

In the United States, traces of PFOA have been found in the public drinking water of communities near DuPont facilities. Individual and class action lawsuits have been filed against the company alleging personal and property damage resulting from the contamination.

Studies on workers in plants using PFOA and residents in surrounding areas have shown that PFOA builds up in human blood, does not break down in the environment and may cause such health problems as liver damage, reproductive and developmental defects and cancer.

DuPont, which has about 20 wholly owned or joint venture operations in China, denies the existence of such risks. It produces coatings for non-stick cookware at its Shenzhen plant and automotive coatings at its Beijing and Changchun plants.

In late July 2004, DuPont China's public affairs manager told China.org.cn in a written statement that, "All DuPont plants in China are managed the same as their counterparts elsewhere in the world according to the highest international and local standards in safety and environmental protection."

DuPont was not aware in July of any special investigation being conducted by the State Environmental Protection Agency or the Work Safety Administration into potential hazards of PFOA.

(China.org.cn, China Daily October 14, 2004)

DuPont Sticks to Point on Harmless Teflon
DuPont Denies Frying Pan Risk
SPI Says No Health Risk in Using Non-stick Cookware
China Opens Investigation into Teflon
Teflon to Be Tested for Safety
DuPont Plans Expansion in China
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688